1 Recommend It!

Dave Holland: San Francisco, CA, February 7-10, 2013

By Published: | 4,464 views
Dave Holland Residency
San Francisco Jazz Center
San Francisco, CA
February 7-10, 2013

Dave Holland
Dave Holland
Dave Holland
b.1946
bass
was beaming ear to ear. And he had every reason to be, as the 66-year-old bassist was center stage helping to inaugurate a magnificent new hall, the showplace of the San Francisco Jazz Festival. The past two weeks had marked the first that the center had been open, and while a multitude of acts had performed, these had been special as opposed to regularly scheduled performances. Holland's solo performance marked the first of his residency—a four-night stint that saw him perform solo, in duet, with his Quintet and with his group Prism.

That Tuesday evening, the 7th, he was introduced by Randall Kline, the founder of SFJazz, who described Holland as "one of my idols." As a bassist who is a band leader and not merely a sideman, Holland has created innumerable albums and CDs, including his solo bass recording Emerald Tears (1977) (ECM)—which Klein had mentioned as being a particular favorite of his—and Ones All (ECM, 1993), and Life Cycle (Intuition Music, 1982), a solo cello recording. Holland began playing music early. At age four he had been working on the ukulele when a fortuitous discovery of the recordings of bassist Ray Brown
Ray Brown
Ray Brown
1926 - 2002
bass, acoustic
turned him on to jazz and eventually led to finding himself on U.S. soil at the tender age of 22, having been summoned by the illustrious late trumpeter Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
to join his quintet.

Holland introduced his first tune of the evening, "Homecoming," a tune (recorded on Ones All) that "popped into my head in Scotland" when he had returned to Britain to tour. The somber yet springy tune had Holland fingering up and down the bass He ended the number with an ornate flourish, rapidly strumming the bass at a 45-degree angle.

Next came Collin Walcott's "Three Step Dance," also from One's All. Here, Holland elevated a foot as he intently plucked the strings. Then came "Little Girl I'll Miss You," a ballad composed by saxophonist Bunky Green. The delicately- phrased tune featured some precise fingering as his hands cast spiderlike shadows on the bass.

Then Holland plunged into the evocative, fast-paced "The Whirling Dervish"— a signature tune he had recorded in 1985 as part of the World Trio (which comprised percussionist Mino Cinelu
Mino Cinelu
Mino Cinelu
b.1957
percussion
and guitarist Kevin Eubanks
Kevin Eubanks
Kevin Eubanks
b.1957
guitar
, who appeared with Holland's Prism the last night of the residency). An untitled improvisation, carefully fingered, followed and concluded to sustained applause.

Explaining the origin of the next tune, "Hooveling," Holland told of his naiveté while visiting New York City in 1968. One man had quite effectively pulled his leg by convincing Holland that the term for his method of moving through crowds was called "hooveling." Holland attempted to recreate the man's movements onstage through rapid fingering, his left hand swooping down the bass to join his right.

Holland then introduced yet another tune: "Under Redwoods." "Quite a few years ago I was on the Russian River. There was a deck outside that was fantastic. I would bring my bass outside and play." The lovely, meditative ode to nature followed.

Holland's version of "Goodbye Porkpie Hat," which came next, was a lyrical, intently fingered homage to the late bassist Charles Mingus who, in turn, had composed it to honor saxophonist Lester Young
Lester Young
Lester Young
1909 - 1959
saxophone
.

Holland encored with "Mr. P. C.," another tune on Ones All and one penned by the legendary saxophonist John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
as a dedication to Paul Chambers
Paul Chambers
Paul Chambers
1935 - 1969
bass, acoustic
, the late jazz bassist who has also influenced Holland's playing.

Two nights later, following a duet with pianist Kenny Barron
Kenny Barron
Kenny Barron
b.1943
piano
(and the night before an appearance with his ensemble Prism), Holland brought his quintet to the center. On the stage with him were Steve Nelson
Steve Nelson
Steve Nelson

vibraphone
—who played vibraphone and marimba while dexterously switching amongst a variety of lollypop-bright blue, green and red mallets, sometimes three in one hand at a time; trombonist Robin Eubanks, a member of the SFJAZZ Collective; saxophonist Mark Turner
Mark Turner
Mark Turner
b.1965
sax, tenor
and drummer Nate Smith
Nate Smith
Nate Smith
b.1974
drums
.

Introducing Holland and his ensemble that evening, Capital Public Radio's Gary Vercelli told of his friend's astonishment when he related that he would be driving from Sacramento to San Francisco that evening to see a bassist perform. He explained to him that Holland was not just a bassist, and told us that "These gentlemen mean a lot to me."

Holland announced "Walkin the Walk," and Nelson chimed in, adding sound and color with his mallets. The next tune, the lovely "The Eyes Have it," was dedicated to his granddaughter Sarah and featured a trombone solo by Eubanks, luscious melodic colors by Nelson, and forceful drumming by Smith, and concluded with a sax solo by Turner.

comments powered by Disqus
Download jazz mp3 “Pass It On” by Dave Holland

Weekly Giveaways

Roscoe Mitchell

Roscoe Mitchell

About | Enter

Peter Lerner

Peter Lerner

About | Enter

Jamie Saft

Jamie Saft

About | Enter

Sun Trio

Sun Trio

About | Enter

Sponsor: Nonesuch Records